Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey star in the Showtime series “Fellow Travelers” as lovers who meet in the ’50s at a time when homosexuality is still outlawed, and whose tumultuous relationship continues through the ’80s.
The emotional drama, which is based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, encompasses the McCarthy hearings, the war protests of the ’60s, the decadent disco ’70s and the AIDS crisis.
Here’s who plays who in the series and where you’ve seen them before.
“Fellow Travelers” premieres on Paramount+ on Friday and Showtime on Sunday.
Matt Bomer as Hawkins “Hawk” Fuller
The “White Collar” star plays Hawk, a decorated war hero who becomes a well-connected Washington D.C. fixer. Very few people know he’s gay, a fact that would end his career and possibly put him in jail. His love life is mostly brief encounters with strangers he picks up, until he meets Tim. But Hawk chooses to marry Lucy (Allison Williams), the daughter of his mentor, to keep up the façade of being straight.
Jonathan Bailey as Tim Laughlin
The award-winning stage actor played Olly Stevens on “Broadchurch,” Anthony Bridgerton in “Bridgerton,” and stars as Fiyero Tigelaar in the upcoming “Wicked” films. He plays Tim, an idealistic newcomer to the political sphere who doesn’t have Hawk’s natural talent for leading a double life. A devout Catholic and anti-communist, he lands a job with Senator Joe McCarthy, but his devotion to both is tested when he falls in love with Hawk.
Allison Williams as Lucy
The “Girls” and “Get Out” actress co-stars as Lucy, a senator’s daughter who marries Hawk without knowing that he prefers men. When the series opens in the ’80s, she’s now well aware and trying to come to terms with his love for Tim.
Jelani Alladin as Marcus Hooks
Alladin, whose films include “Respect” and “Tick, Tick… Boom!” originated the role of Kristoff in the 2018 stage production of “Frozen” and went on to play the lead in another Disney film-to-stage show, “Hercules.” Marcus is an experienced Black reporter who faces racism after he’s hired at the Washington Post. He’s torn between his love for drag queen Frankie (Noah J. Ricketts) and maintaining the appearance that he is straight.
Noah J. Ricketts as Frankie Hines
Ricketts appeared on Broadway in the original cast of “Frozen” and later took over the role of Kristoff originated by Alladin. On “Fellow Travelers,” he plays a popular drag queen who sings at a gay Washington D.C. nightspot that is subject to unannounced police raids.
Chris Bauer as Senator Joseph McCarthy
Bauer is known for his roles on HBO series “True Blood” and “The Wire. He dons a prosthetic nose to play the notorious real-life senator whose obsession with ridding the country of supposed communists extends to also rooting out “deviants,” which threatens both Hawk and Tim and their inner circle.
Will Brill as Roy Cohn
Brill previously played Noah Weissman on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Scott Brown on the Netflix sci-fi series “The O.A.” Here he plays the real-life lawyer who served as McCarthy’s chief counsel as they investigated suspected communists in the Army. His devotion to anticommunist consultant David Schine (Matt Zisser) does not go unnoticed by McCarthy’s political enemies. Cohn’s later clients included Alan Dershowitz, who called him “the quintessential fixer,” Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump.
Matt Visser as David Schine
The Canadian actor’s previous credits include the Hulu miniseries “A Teacher” and guest appearances on “Supernatural,” “Upload” and “Firefly Lane.” He plays real-life McCarthy era figure David Schine, whose special treatment in the Army mandated an investigation into Roy Cohn, who requested Schine receive favors including custom boots, a fur-lined coat and steak dinners.
Linus Roache as Senator Wesley Smith
The actor, perhaps best known as Executive ADA Michael Cutter on “Law & Order,” plays one of the few senators to openly oppose McCarthy. Hawk, who he regards as a son, works for him as a political fixer and ends up marrying Smith’s daughter Lucy (Allison Williams) and coming to the aid of his son Lenny (Mike Taylor). The character is based on the real-life Senator Lester Hunt.
Erin Neufer as Mary Johnson
Mary keeps Hawk’s secrets because she is gay herself. She lives with her girlfriend, who also works at the State Department. She often serves as Tim’s date so he can attend events with Hawk. Neufer plays Marian Morash on the Max series “Julia,” about chef Julia Child. Her other TV credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Ben Sanders as Robert F. Kennedy
The “Murdoch Mysteries” star appears in a small role as the future U.S. attorney general of the United States. Kennedy was appointed to the senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation that held the infamous McCarthy hearings.
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